See Ultra HD for Yourself
As we’ve said before, don’t take our word for it, go and stand in front of an Ultra HDTV before you make any decisions. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) validates this recommendation with research from two studies: Consumer Perspective on Ultra HDTV (quantitative) and Consumer Perceptions of Ultra HDTV Technology at Retail (qualitative).
4K Ultra HD (2160p) is a new television format with four times the resolution of today’s mainstream Full HD (1080p), boasting more than eight million pixels. Ultra High Definition also provides other technical enhancements such as improved color depth and contrast, which allows viewers to see shadows and sunlit areas in greater detail.
Related: What is Ultra HDTV?
CEA Ultra HD Research
“Seeing the technology in a retail store also influences consumers’ perception of the technology, according to CEA’s quantitative study. Among those who have seen or heard about Ultra HD in a retail store, 73 percent view the technology as positive, compared to 45 percent who did not see or hear about the technology in a store.”
The statement goes on to explain, “CEA’s qualitative study supports the notion that seeing Ultra HD technology in-person is critical for consumers to understand its benefits. In the study, consumers visited retail stores to experience Ultra HDTVs in-person and then shared their experience. Many say they went into the stores skeptical that Ultra HDTVs would be better than their current HDTVs. However, seeing the technology in-person had a significantly positive impact on their opinions of Ultra HDTV, an impact that could not have been achieved through reading a description of the technology alone.”
Several technology cynics call Ultra HD “stupid [and] a waste of time and money” without having seen an Ultra HD display in-person; simply expressing an unsubstantiated and biased opinion to their innocent followers. We welcome differing opinions on Ultra HD technology, but as with anything else, we ask that you experience the technology yourself in-person.
“Ultra HDTV consumer adoption will be a case of ‘seeing is believing,’” says Rhonda Daniel, senior manager, market research, CEA. “The technology offers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with superior picture quality. Experiencing the technology in person is a critical component to drive consumer interest in adopting Ultra HD as their next television.”
Apart from replacing old or broken TV’s, specific data from the studies show that two in five will seek to improve the picture quality (43 percent), a similar number will seek to increase the screen size (42 percent) of their current display, and three in five (62 percent) of online consumers say they would be more willing to purchase an Ultra HDTV if the picture quality was so clear that it felt like they were experiencing what they were watching in person or if the picture quality was better than a movie screen.
With regards to pricing and Ultra HD content, data from the CEA research shows that 43 percent (two in five) online U.S. adults cite concerns with the availability of Ultra HD television programming, 24 percent cite availability of Ultra HD movies for purchase, 21 percent cite availability of movies for rent, and 22 percent cite the availability of Ultra HD video content through streaming service providers.
“Ultra HDTV holds a tremendous amount of promise for the video ecosystem,” says Daniel. “As prices gradually align with consumer expectations, consumer awareness grows and the availability of content continues the positive momentum it has seen so far, then Ultra HD will be the next step forward in the logical progression of television displays.”
The U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (January 2014) shows that Ultra HDTV unit shipments will increase eightfold in 2014 to reach 485 thousand units and surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year. Ultra HD was a major component in both the 2013 CES and 2014 CES — and just in case you missed it, be sure to check out our Best of CES 2014 awards.